UK Home Ent Market Up 13% In 2021 As ‘No Time To Die’ Boosts Sales; VOD Subs Growth Slows

The UK’s home entertainment market was up 13.3% in 2021, across physical units, digital transactions and VOD subscriptions, with its overall value rising to $5B (£3.7B), according to figures compiled by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE).

Despite the year being hampered by a lack of big-ticket movie releases, with shuttered cinemas leading distributors to hold back key titles, December saw No Time To Die make up the slack.

The latest James Bond pic only had its home ent release in the last two weeks of the year but managed to become 2021’s biggest title, selling 1,148,000 units across both disc and digital formats.

The film was the largest physical disc week one title since 2017, shifting 621,000 units, according to data from the Official Charts Company. The title also became the biggest digital seller of the year, racking up 430,000 sales.

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There were a total of 21 million DVD and Blu-ray sales across 2021, according to the Official Charts Company. That compared with 34.1 million in physical sales in 2020, a dip that can be partially explained by the lack of available film slate due to continuing cinema closures, but again evidences the industry’s continuing shift from physical to online home ent.

On the digital side, there were a total of 17.7 million digital transactions via EST (electronic sell-through, i.e. purchase) in 2021, with a further 27 million VOD transactions (i.e. rental) in the first nine months of 2019 (with complete data for the year yet to be compiled). For VOD rentals, Wonder Woman 1984 topped the pack across those nine months following its PVOD release back in January.

According to figures from Kantar, the growth of SVOD subscriptions slowed in 2021, still growing 27% year-on-year but down from the high watermark of a 44% rise in 2020. A total of 16 million UK households have at least one SVOD account now, with the average per household sitting at 2.3 million.

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